Dr. Pranjal Yadava is a scientist in India’s Agricultural Research Service and leads the agricultural biotechnology program at ICAR–Indian Institute of Maize Research, New Delhi. Presently, he is on a sabbatical assignment at Stanford University where he is engaged as Fulbright Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Biology under the mentorship of world renowned maize geneticist- Prof Virginia Walbot . Dr Yadava's major scientific interest is to elucidate the mechanisms of gene silencing and expression in plants. Earlier, he has researched the role of the microRNA-mediated gene silencing phenomenon in relation to viral infection and environmental stresses, like drought, low nitrogen, and low phosphorus. He is passionate about the role of modern biotechnologies such as genetic engineering and gene editing in improving agricultural productivity, especially in resource poor settings of the developing world.

Dr. Yadava’s Fulbright-Nehru project aims to clone novel maize genes involved in male fertility and anther development. Successful anther development is vital for pollen dispersal and hence, seed setting—the cornerstone of the agricultural enterprise. This work may not only enhance our understandings of the fundamental process of anther development, but may also lead to development of a technology for a pollination control system in crops like maize. This has the potential to transform the hybrid seed industry and the livelihoods of farmers wanting to use such high-yielding and affordable hybrid seeds for improving farm productivity.

Honors & Awards

  • Fulbright Nehru Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, United States India Educational Foundation (2017-2019)
  • Indo-Australian Career Boosting Gold Fellowship, Government of India (2016)
  • Dr MV Rao and Shri PS Ram Mohan Award, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (2006)
  • Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (2005- 2010)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Editor-in-Chief- Web, Maize Technologists Association of India (2014 - Present)
  • Executive Editor and then Editor, Maize Journal (ISSN 2278-8867) (2014 - Present)
  • Research Coordinator, Ankur Seeds Pvt Ltd (2010 - 2011)
  • Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (2011 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (2010)
  • Bachelor of Science, G B Pant University Of Agriculture (2003)
  • Master of Science, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (2005)